Sherlock Holmes Case of the Ancient Artifact. An original online novel in progress, chapter by chapter. Free to read here.
A short introduction of what I intend.
This will be chapter one of however many it takes to complete this novel idea. I am doing this for fun and to see how my readers respond. If I get a lot of response, I'll continue posting this way. If not, I will return to what I was doing before.
It's an experiment as well to see how my audience reacts to my story as it is in progress. Which parts do they like most; which least; what might they had included or not?
Seize this opportunity to chime in with your thoughts as this novel progresses. Those who contribute the most, I will mention in my novel once it's published.
As most know already I've started a new series called "The Ghost Wars," and this novel idea is going to synch into that series at some point.
My last series, which is coming to a close, "The Silver Holmes Collection," deals with another time period and the very early beginnings of what I have named my Baker Street Universre.
When you start my Ghost Wars series, please begin with Mystery of the Thames Ironworks Murder.
When you start my "Silver Holmes Collection," please start with The Great Detective
I am in the process of sorting through any unpublished work and releasing it, as well as updating and improving works which I have felt were good at the time, but which now I feel could use some more love.
The work of an author is a work in progress. Any creator worth his or her salts does not stand still, but is always a work in progress, as they are constantly learning.
So much for the busy stuff, now onto Sherlock Holmes: Case of the Ancient Artifact.
Sherlock Holmes: Case of the Ancient Artifact
Chapter One: Curiosity Killed the Cat
He was a small time, petty thief and that was all he would ever amount to. That's how he saw himself. That's how his father had seen him. His mother. All of them. But just once. Just once he'd like to prove them all wrong. So this night as he stood at the corner he usually hung out, when he spotted the rich customer step outside, light his pipe, glance his way with a light smile, then carry on into the fog thickening night, he decided he'd turn over a new leaf.
He'd always been told by that silly old Protestant Priest, "Redemption begins one thought at a time, one small action and they the same over and over until that's all that one does."
He'd laughed and promptly stolen the man's pocket watch, cash and cross without the fool ever knowing he had done so. That's how good he'd been and become.
But afterwards, as he flipped open the pocket watch and looked at the picture of Christ inside, he'd had some doubts begin to surface. He had felt a tear wet his right eye. He promptly snagged it and put it in its proper place, on his shirt sleeve, but the dirty deed had been done. He'd hit a soft spot. The old man really loved what he did; he could see that. Because not only had there been a picture of the Christ inside, there had been a picture of two mangled bodies labeled Mom and Dad.
He had asked around and found that the Priest had lost both his parents to war crimes. They had both been tortured and left for dead. For the young Priest to find.
Just when he thought he'd hit the bottom; he found out he had company.
He had promptly gone back to the Priest and returned everything. The Priest hadn't said a word. Not one. He had only nodded and smiled.
Alex hated him for that. He hated himself for that.
And what's worse he had begun to hate what he did for a living.
So tonight, he was on the path to making it right.
So when he heard the cry of terror in the night he had run like the devil was on his heels. Later on, he might think he was a fool for doing so, but he was strong in his youth and his naivety and so ran!
What he found was a young woman tied to a lamp post. She was pretty beyond measure. But lurking behind her, a knife to her throat was a hulk of a man. His face was hidden behind a scarlet colored mask with a green colored stone in the forehead of it.
Not only was the mask frighening, but everythng about what he was not dealing with was terrifying. He suddenly realized what a fool he was. Now she'd probably die anyway and he would also for trying to be the good guy.
"Damned luck!" He cursed.
A single shot rang out.
The hulk of a man dropped his knife and turned about.
The man who had exited the Pub he had stood near earlier walked into view from the fog, holding a smoking weapon before him, like a mysterious avenger from one of those silly penny books everyone was reading these days
The young woman ran to Alex and he clasped her to him.
The shot man gave Alex a hard stare and then turned to eye the man who had shot him.
"You will pay for that!" He said slowly, his voice tearing the night like a fierce dragon's roar.
The man with the pistol laughed. "Sir, I think it is you...who shall pay. The first shot was merely a warning. I did not miss."
The man suddenly pulled his coat open to reveal rows of knives in wierd shapes. "Which one shall I tear our guts out with?"
"None will do sufficienty." The man with the pistol answered, then shot the man again.
The man spun around, a knife in his hand which he tossed at Alex and another at the man with the pistol.
Alex's youth saved him. As soon as the man had moved he had thrown himself and they young woman to the pavemment. the knife missed them.
The man with the pistol fired twice. Once took the knife flung at him from the air and shot it to the ground. The second shot struck the knife thrower in the chest.
He looked down at the hole in his chest and laughed, and then he ran off into the night.
The man with the pistol came over to Alex and the young woman who watched everything silently. She sat up with Alex's help.
"There. You're safe now, Miss." He told her.
"No." She said with a shake of her pretty head. "That man was my father."
Then she shoved free of him and dashed into the foggy night so fast he couldn't even reach his feet in time to run after her or stop her.
"Better to leave it be, young man." The man with the weapon said, not putting it away.
He went to the street, took a handkerchief from his coat jacket and then picked up the knife that had been flung at him. He walked back.
"Had you robbed me as you have so many others, she would not still be alive tonight and I would not have had time to surprise the Beast."
"Who are you, sir? And what Beast?" Alex demanded.
The man handed him a card. 'Holmes. Sherlock Holmes. Please come to my address tomorrow morning, I shall have a job for you."
Holmes looked Alex in the eyes. "Can you do that?"
Alex looked at the card again and realized how lucky he'd been to choose that moment earlier to not follow his darker motivations. "Yes, sir. Early as the cock crows."
Alex run away from the spot the confrontation had occurred at and almost bowled over a somewhat overweight man with a black bag.
"I'm so sorry, sir." He shouted as he continued at a run.
Holmes came into view and smiled. "Watson, I see you met our new hire."
Watson turned to look, but Alex had already vanished into the deepening fog.
Holmes smiled. "Come, Watson, we still have time for a cup of tea before the morning."
Watson shrugged and allowed himself to be led into the fog.
They both vanished.
Several moments later the Beast stepped into view. He sniffed the air. His eyes turned towards where Holmes and Watson had gone. He looked down. Something on the pavement had caught his eye.
Alex, in his hurry, had dropped the business card handed to him by Holmes.
The Beast looked at the card. His face began to broaden into a sick, cruel smile.
I will be adding a new chapter as I am able. It might be frequently, or infrequently, but I will do so until the story is completed. I apologize if there are any errors within it in advance, as this is not meant to be a polished story yet. it is what is termed a work-in-progress.
Once I have uploaded all chapters, I will pull down the chapters and revise and edit to publish.
Meanwhile, have fun with this taste of Holmes.
Lastly, if you find anything in the story that you think I could have done to make it more exciting, please let me know. You will have my gratitude and maybe even a surprise of some kind.